When Trash Talking Kobe Bryant Goes VERY Wrong...
Kobe Bryant is one of the best basketball players ever, but this NBA player trash talked him and it went very wrong… #Kobe #NBA #trashtalk
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Trash talk has always been a part of the NBA, but there are just certain players you don’t talk trash to. Why am I showing you this? That one bucket has a lot trash talk behind it. So let’s just get right into it. Drop a like for more stories like this, and as Kobe would say I work hard so subscribe, otherwise Kobe might get a little personal.
So the year is 1999, Kobe is 20 years old fresh off of his second season in the NBA, his first All-Star season in which he averaged 15.4 points a game coming off the bench. Kobe was far from a star when he came in the league, but he definitely was beginning to develop into a promising player. That’s when Kobe met Ruben Patterson. Ruben Patterson was a second round pick in the 1998 draft. The 23 year old, 6’ 5” shooting guard was looking for a place in the league. Lakers teammates described him as energetic and aggressive. As Derek Fisher said, ”I was at practice every day, You don’t really have to think about what he’s saying. Because Ruben was a shooting guard, he was matched up with Kobe in practice. Leading up to the first meeting between the Supersonics and Lakers in the 1999-2000 season, Phil Jackson said Ruben didn’t fit well with the Lakers because of his bad shooting, but fits with the Sonics. And then out of nowhere, Ruben Patterson apparently, as the LA times reported in November of 1999, caught the Lakers attention by calling himself the “Kobe Stopper”.
He didn’t say anything at the time, but after Kobe retired, he said I had to torch him. That next game against the Sonics, Kobe drops 31 and 6 on 61% shooting from the field coming off of a 3 day road trip. The funny thing is, Ruben Patterson wasn’t matched with Kobe, he was matched on to Glen Rice, and would at times switch on to Kobe. And when he did, Kobe got him.
Soon there would be a game in which Ruben heavily guarded Kobe and sh*t got crazy. I want to focus on and that’s on April 14, 2004, the last game of the 2003-2004 regular season. At this point in time, Ruben is on the Trail Blazers and Kobe and the Lakers are trying to win their 4th straight championship. Kobe at this point is a full on superstar. Yeah So the game starts with Kobe being Kobe and Ruben watching from the bench. And when Ruben came in, well it was like he wasn’t even there. Kobe made it look like it was clockwork and Ruben got switched off of him as the Blazers opted to throw another body at Kobe. Kobe gets by Ruben, gets fouled with 55 seconds left. He misses the first and misses the second. This is also during their tumultuous season with his teammates doubting Kobe’s shot selection. Fast forward and Kobe has Ruben on a string on the perimeter, he pump fakes, gets Ruben Patterson to bite, and misses. Kobe easily got the shot he wanted and missed it. This isn’t great defense, Kobe was toying with Ruben again. And then this happens.
This time he played the best defense he ever played on Kobe on the most important possession he has ever defended Kobe on and it didn’t matter. There was no one player that can stop Kobe. Yeah the game was slightly important for the Lakers, but you know Kobe takes every game seriously. He was able to shut all the Ruben Patterson talk and justify his shot selection at the same time. Keep in mind that Kobe had been wanting to destroy Ruben and this was probably the best way to do it, until he kinda did again when he hit this in double overtime. Ruben Patterson actually went the wrong way on this screen, going around instead of cutting in and so another player made the late switch to cover up for it and that little airspace was enough for Kobe to hit the game winner. You know how many points Ruben had. 2. IAfter the game, Ruben asked Kobe for his shoes. Ruben was in disbelief, Ruben did a complete 180. (Wow) Kobe finished that game with 37 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists including 12 in that 4th quarter.
In an interview in 2006 by ESPN, Kobe was directly asked about the “Kobe Stopper” and he just said "Oh, come off it, are you kidding me?" Bryant said incredulously. "Last time I had like 40 against the guy."
According to Ruben Patterson later on his career, Shawn Kemp gave him that nickname when he was in Portland and that Ruben never called himself the Kobe Stopper. But then why is there an article in 1999 from the LA Times that says you called yourself the Kobe Stopper.
Forget all the stats. Forget all the other times Kobe roasted Ruben. Just know Kobe immortalized Rube Patterson in this one highlight and know, trash-talking Kobe doesn’t usually end well. But what do you think? Where do you rank Kobe all time?